Ah, that feeling you get knowing that Todd Richards is the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Minnesota Wild come home to the X, having lost three straight since winning the first two games of the season. They come home to a restless fan base, one looking for answers and looking for the team they saw in the game against the Colorado Avalanche. Coming home should be a great feeling. Sleep in your own bed, see your wife / girlfriend / kids / roommate / blender. For the Wild, the threat of boos raining down on them has to be real.
Zach Parise is on fire, Mikko Koivu remembered he can shoot the puck, and Dany Heatley looks to be an ageless wonder right now. After that, the positives drop off quickly. The defense looks lost. Jonas Brodin, and his one NHL game, looks like the best d-man on the team right now. Ryan Suter is under pressure and not performing up to standards set by the fans. The rest of the d-corps has been invisible.
Can they turn all of these things around in one game? Likely not, but they can improve. Fans will notice improvement. If they can win, fans will likely forget completely. If they lose? Things are going to get ugly.
The Blue Jackets are not a good hockey team. They will be on the back side of a back-to-back with travel. They are also still an NHL hockey team. Taking this team for granted is a bad idea, especially for a team in the condition the Wild are in. The Jackets still have weapons, so the Wild need to come out and play a full game. If nothing else, just to show Richards that they can.
The Wild need this one. For any number of reasons, they need this one bad. What do you think Wilderness? Can they win this one?